chances: an interpretive dance
But while Ballard is certainly an extreme case, he's not the first NHL player to accidentally cause an injury to a teammate. In fact, over the past few years the league has seen several regrettable incidents. Here's a look at some that had the biggest impact.
The player: Jonas Gustavsson
The injury: Heart arrhythmia due to repetitive trauma to the middle of his chest
What happened: Cumulative effect from a full month of facing Jason Blake in practice every day.
The player: Joe Thornton
The injury: Damaged windpipe due to choking
What happened: Unaware of strict internal rules regarding team meals, new teammate Dany Heatley mentions the word "playoffs".
The player: Andrei Markov
The injury: Sprained MCL
What happened: Repetitive strain of constantly having to drop to one knee to hold a conversation with the Habs' various offseason acquisitions.
The player: Brad Boyes
The injury: Severe hoof damage across his back
What happened: Wandered in between Keith Tkachuk and the post-game buffet.
The player: Alexei Ponikarovsky
The injury: Lower back pain, swollen ankles, and gestational diabetes
What happened: Accidentally made eye contact with Luke Schenn.
The player: Entire Vancouver Canucks defence
The injury: Second and third degree sunburns to the back of the neck.
What happened: Were forced to play an entire game in front of Andrew Raycroft.
The player: Rick DiPietro
The injury: Multiple fractures, torn ligaments, internal organ failure
What happened: Teammate Brendan Witt turned on a rotating fan in the dressing room, causing a light breeze.
The player: Marian Hossa
The injury: Lacerations to both wrists
What happened: New teammate Patrick Kane introduced himself by saying "Wow, you played for Pittsburgh and Detroit? Can I see your Cup rings?"
The player: Marc Staal
The injury: Impaired vision
What happened: Learning the details of Wade Redden's free agent contract caused eyes to cartoonishly pop out of head, detaching both retinas.
The player: Daniel Carcillo
The injury: Concussion
What happened: During a heated debate on the validity of the inferential thesis, Carcillo argues for Gibson's "ecological approach" to the conception of perception, leading Riley Cote (a known advocate of Fodor and Pylyshyn's stance that affordances presuppose direct perception and therefore can not be used to explain it) to hit him over the head with a folding chair.
The player: Chris Neil
The injury: Two broken ankles
What happened: Instinctively leapt out of eighth floor hotel window after Chris Phillips mentioned that the bellhop kind of looked like Colton Orr.
The player: Chris Drury
The injury: Existential crisis
What happened: Realization that Sean Avery continues to pull incredibly hot women forced him to question the very existence of a just and merciful god.
The player: Mike Fisher
The injury: Broken jaw and fractued orbital bone
What happened: Tried to keep a straight face when Daniel Alfredsson delivered his "Go ahead and write it, I guarantee we'll win the Cup" quote.